Virgil Abloh dies at 41 after cancer battle; Kanye, Frank Ocean & more pay tribute

Fashion designer, artist, and DJ Virgil Abloh has died at age 41 after privately battling cancer. An announcement on his Instagram reads:

We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend. He is survived by his loving wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh, his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh, and numerous dear friends and colleagues.

For over two years, Virgil valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma. He chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture.

Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered. Virgil was driven by his dedication to his craft and to his mission to open doors for others and create pathways for greater equality in art and design. He often said, “Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,” believing deeply in the power of art to inspire future generations.

We thank you all for your love and support, and we ask for privacy as we grieve and celebrate Virgil’s life.

In addition to working in fashion, Virgil was heavily involved with music. He's released his own music (including a collaboration with serpentwithfeet from earlier this year), he worked on album artwork for Kanye West, Pop Smoke, Kid Cudi, A$AP Rocky, Westside Gunn, and more, he's DJed major festivals like Coachella, and more.

Tributes to Virgil have come pouring in, including from Kanye West's Sunday Service Choir, who covered Adele's "Easy" during a livestream with the words "In loving memory of Virgil Abloh, creative director of ‘Donda'" on screen:

Frank Ocean also penned an open letter to Virgil in his Instagram stories, concluding simply with "Love You V. You're a hero."

Watch some videos and see tributes to Virgil from Pharrell Williams, Justin Vernon, Questlove, and others below.

Rest in peace, Virgil.